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Why Are My Smart Bulbs Unresponsive? 3 Causes & Quick Fixes

Why Are Your Smart Bulbs Unresponsive

Smart bulbs are an innovative way to control the lights in your home. All you need is an app and smart bulbs, and you’re ready to go.

With any technology, there can be issues, and bulbs that aren’t working can leave people wondering what to do. 

Your smart bulbs may be unresponsive for several reasons, including a connection issue on your device, technical issues in the smart bulb connection, the smart bulb might’ve burned out, or the app for your bulbs may need an update.

Let’s go into more detail about these common causes and how to fix them. 

1. Connection Issue on Your Device

One of the most common reasons your smart bulb may not be working is a technical issue in the app.

Anyone who has a smart device knows that they aren’t perfect.

Apps may show errors, lag, run slower than normal, or even crash.

However, most of the time, it’s not an issue with the app. It could be a problem with the device itself.

The first thing to check when you’re having issues with smart bulbs is your device.

If your device isn’t working properly, then that’s going to cause issues with your smart bulbs.

Remember that smart bulbs rely on WiFi to connect to your device and work properly. 

So, if there’s an issue with your device, then your smart bulbs won’t respond. 

So what can we do about it? 

If this is why your smart bulbs aren’t working, then there are a few possible fixes:

  • Restart your device. If this is a smartphone, then hold down the power button to perform a manual restart. Then, retry. 
  • Make sure your device is running on WiFi. Always double check your WiFi connection on your device as your smart bulbs won’t work without it. 
  • Try resetting your WiFi router. This ensures that you’re working with the best possible connection. 
  • Always check your WiFi connection first when dealing with smart bulb issues. Smart bulbs require WiFi, so, always check the internet connection.

2. Technical Issues in the Smart Bulb Connection

In the same way, your smart device may not be working correctly. Your smart bulbs may also run into technical issues. 

This can happen at random, or it can be caused by something specific.

One way that your smart bulbs can stop responding to the app is if the power goes out. Sometimes this can cause them to need to be reset.

It can be worrisome when your smart bulbs stop responding, but if that’s the problem, then there’s an easy fix. 

If you’re wondering how to reset your smart bulbs, you’re not alone. It can be odd because there isn’t a reset button to be found. 

But the process is simple. To reset a smart bulb:

  1. Just turn it off for five seconds, then on for five seconds
  2. Repeat this process a few times. Once the reset is successful, you’ll know because your lights will begin to flash. 
  3. Once you see the flashing, you can stop the process of turning it on and off again. 

There’s no specific amount of times you need to do this in order for it to reset. Just keep trying the above process until you see the bulb blinking. 

Once the reset is complete:

  1. Turn the bulb off.
  2. Start the discovery process again through the app. 
  3. Turn the bulb on and connect it again. 

This process is not always necessary, but it can really help when your smart bulbs aren’t responding or even when they’re slow to respond. 

If the bulb continues to fail, it could be defective, or it might’ve reached the end of its life.

Read also: 4 Reasons Why Your Smart Bulb Keeps Going Offline + Tips

3. The Smart Bulb May Have Burned Out

This is probably the least likely option, but it’s still worth mentioning. 

On average, smart bulbs last about 20,000 hours. So, the chances are that your bulb hasn’t been active for that long. 

If your bulb has been active for close to that amount of time, then it may be worth considering.

Otherwise, you might’ve gotten a bad bulb. Or there could be other factors causing your bulbs to die faster than normal. 

The most popular and widely used smart bulbs are LEDs. If your smart bulb is an LED bulb, then there could be some factors that make it die quickly:

  • If your voltage is too high, your bulbs may burn out faster. Issues like this are expensive to fix. In fact, it may be worth just switching out the bulb rather than hiring an electrician. 
  • Dimming your bulbs can also cause them to burn out more quickly than they should. This is especially true if your house has old wiring that may not be equipped to handle new technology. 
  • You should also consider if you are overusing your smart bulbs. This can lead to bulbs running out very quickly. 20,000 hours is a lot of time, but it adds up fast if you leave them on all day or night. 

The best fix for a burned-out bulb is to replace it. Also, if it happens often, you may want to consider the above reasons. 

Monitor how much you’re using your bulb or leaving it on accidentally. If the problem persists, you may want to contact an electrician to investigate further.

Learn more: Why are smart bulbs so dim?

Bonus: The App Could Need an Update

The App Could Need An Update

Sometimes an issue with smart bulbs is as simple as the app not being up to date.

If you don’t have your app set to automatically update, then it could need one.

App developers send out updates to help fix bug issues within the app. So, if you’re not up to date, your app is less likely to work as it should. 

There are many common issues found within out-of-date apps. These issues include crashing, error messages, and privacy issues.

When the app’s used to connect to another device, it may stop working altogether.

This is often the case with unresponsive smart bulbs.

Here’s how to update your app:

  1. Check the App Store or Google Play Store for an update depending on what device you are using. If your app is not up to date, make sure it is updated. 
  2. Try to turn on your smart bulbs again. If they still don’t work, try to reset them. Sometimes trying to use your app that is not updated can cause the bulbs to not work.
  3. After you update your app, check to make sure you’re signed up for automatic updates. 

Setting your iPhone to automatically update your apps is easily done in your settings.

  1. Look for the “Automatic Downloads” section in the “App Store” section. 
  2. Check the box for automatic updates to ensure you stay up-to-date on your smart bulb app. 

Similarly, for Android devices, this setting can be found in your “settings” section of the Google Play Store.

From here, go to your “Network Preferences” and select auto-updates for your apps. 

On both iOS and Android devices, you can specify if you want them to automatically update anytime or just when your device is connected to WiFi. 

Only allowing updates on WiFi is helpful for those with limited data as app updates take a lot of data to push through. So, update off of WiFi at your own risk. 

Final Thoughts

Smart bulbs are a great way to control your home lighting from your device.

Gone are the days when we have to worry about whether we left a light on. But just like any technology, it can stop working sometimes. 

Try these simple fixes if your smart bulbs are unresponsive. You’ll have them back up and running in no time. 

Continue reading: Will Smart Bulbs Work in Any Fixture? 9 Lighting Facts